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Ecology and Ecosystems

M.S., M.P.S. & Ph.D.

The Ecology and Ecosystems area of study focuses on the structure, function, dynamics, and resilience of terrestrial ecosystems, at a range of scales, from tree genetics and plant physiology to landscape ecology, modeling and remote sensing.

Because functioning and resilient ecosystems are central to human well-being, research opportunities in this area of study address a diversity of topics that help us better understand and enhance the sustainability of terrestrial ecosystems in a rapidly changing world.

Participating Faculty

  • Colin M. Beier; cbeier@esf.edu
    forest ecosystem and landscape ecology, social-ecological systems, climate change, ecosystem services, landscape change modeling, resilience, adaptive management, resource governance, applied geoinformatics
  • Eddie Bevilacqua; ebevilacqua@esf.edu
    sampling/inventory, biometrics, forest mensuration, growth and yield modeling, applied statistics, GIS/spatial analysis, forest ecology, landscape ecology, ecological modeling, tree-ring science, quantitative silviculture
  • Russell D. Briggs; rdbriggs@esf.edu
    forest ecology, watershed ecology, soils, ecosystem services, watershed management, forest soils, silviculture
  • René Germain; rhgermai@esf.edu
    forest health, policy, silviculture, forest management and operations, forest management for renewable energy, watershed management, sustainable forestry systems
  • Mariann T. Johnston; mjohnston@esf.edu
    forest ecology, soils, biogeochemistry, forest health, silviculture
  • Charles A. Maynard; cmaynard@syr.edu
    Research Areas of Interest plant tissue culture, genetic engineering a blight-resistant the American chestnut, conventional forest genetics & tree improvement, forest ecology, forest health, restoration ecology
  • Christopher A. Nowak; canowak@esf.edu
    Vegetation Management, Silviculture and Forest Ecology, Production Ecology and Plant Ecophysiology, Invasive Exotic Plant Control, Biogeography and Cultural Landscapes, Sustainable Management and Certification Systems
  • Ralph D. Nyland; rnyland@syr.edu
    forest ecology, forest health, restoration ecology, silviculture, forest management and operations, quantitative silviculture, forest practice
  • John C. Stella; stella@esf.edu
    riparian and stream ecology, restoration ecology, watershed management, ecological modeling, tree-ring science, river restoration, arid-land and Mediterranean ecosystems
  • Philippe G. Vidon; pgvidon@esf.edu
    Geography/Environmental Science, Surface and Subsurface Hydrology, Water Quality, Riparian Zone/Watershed Biogeochemistry and Hydrology, Agriculture, Best Management Practices, Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Mercury, Carbon Cycling, Greenhouse Gases (N2O, CO2, CH4).
  • Timothy A. Volk; tavolk@esf.edu
    silviculture, forest management for renewable energy, biomass and bioenergy, energy, agroforestry, phytoremediation, management and sustainability of short rotation woody crops, life cycle analysis, ecophysiology, international forestry

For details on doctoral and masters programs, download the Graduate Student Handbook for The Department of Forest and Natural Resources Management. Hard copies are available from the FNRM office.

Learn More


Contact Us

Diane Kuehn
Associate Professor
Graduate Education Coordinator - FNRM
310A Bray Hall, One Forestry Drive
Syracuse, NY 13210-2788
Phone: (315) 470-6561
Fax: (315) 470-6535

Current EE Graduate Students


Only currently registered students appear—new student names are added at the start of the academic year.

Collin Bartholomew

Ecology and Ecosystems
Degree Sought: MS
Advisor(s): Nowak

Nicolette Fruehan

Ecology and Ecosystems
Degree Sought: MS
Advisor(s): Briggs

Gretchen Lasser

Gretchen Lasser

Ecology and Ecosystems
Degree Sought: MS
Advisor(s): Yanai
Undergraduate Institute: Pennsylvania State University - University Park (Animal Sciences/conc)

Personal Statement
After receiving my agriculture-focused BS I'm excited to be working with data that substantiates how our current society's practices impact the ecosystems we live around. During my undergraduate I participated in a study that examined foliar nitrogen manipulations and the potential for plants to trap emissions (NH4, dust, and particulate matter) from poultry farms. My current focus with nutrient manipulation continues in northern hardwood ecosystems within the White Mountains of New Hampshire; I am analyzing leaf area and foliar nutrient composition along with assisting in projects involving root biomass and production and leaf litter production and chemistry.

Graduate Research Topic
Currently, looking at specific leaf area and foliar chemistry of Pin Cherry and Beech trees in nutrient manipulated plots of N, P, and N+P additions.

Favorite Hobbies
Moth and insect ID, Birding, backpacking, cycling, travel, xc skiing.

Megan O'Keefe

Ecology and Ecosystems
Degree Sought: MS
Advisor(s): Bevilacqua
Undergraduate Institute: Green Mountain College (Natural Resources Ma)

Alex Young

Alex Young

Ecology and Ecosystems
Degree Sought: MS
Advisor(s): Yanai

Personal Statement
I am fascinated by tree canopy dynamics, specifically microclimate gradients that are associated with height in a tree such as humidity and light availability.

Graduate Research Topic
My current project compares the foliar chemistry of litterfall over time in a young and old stand in Bartlett Experimental Forest, NH.